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09-24-2009, 06:22 AM   #16
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I love the point Wheatfield made about considering whether you want to sacrifice the joy you take from photography by depending on it for income. I struggle with this myself because I know I would like to make some extra money, but that induces stress, life is already stressful enough. But I think it's only stressful right now because I still have so much to learn and I don't have much experience. And by experience I mean paid jobs under my belt.

This forum is a fantastic place to gain inspiration and get feedback for the images you create. Just over the past two years I have grown leaps and bounds in photographic skill and knowledge. While I know there is a perpetual stream of do's and don'ts in photography, I try to keep that Ansel Adams quote in the back of my mind...'there are no rules for good photographs, there are just good photographs.'

09-24-2009, 06:33 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by DanLoc78 Quote
I love the point Wheatfield made about considering whether you want to sacrifice the joy you take from photography by depending on it for income. I struggle with this myself because I know I would like to make some extra money, but that induces stress, life is already stressful enough. But I think it's only stressful right now because I still have so much to learn and I don't have much experience. And by experience I mean paid jobs under my belt.

One of the reasons why I'd never do Wedding photography (even if I was good at it) To me that just isn't fun. Now dog agility is (for me) completely stress free and a blast to shoot. The fact that I get paid everyone once in a while for doing it is just bonus.
09-24-2009, 06:39 AM   #18
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I've shot professionally, however it just isn't for me.
So now I shoot purely for enjoyment, and happen to sell some of my art on the side. (although I won't turn down some weddings, if they pay me enough)
Professional Photography is a tough business to get into. It'll zap your enjoyment away, and leave you penniless while it does it.

My advice to anyone looking into the business is take up Marketing, and learn how to sell both yourself and your work. Then you may have a chance out there.
09-24-2009, 08:54 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
One of the reasons why I'd never do Wedding photography (even if I was good at it) To me that just isn't fun.
Agreed. I enjoy bridals and engagements, but I always reject wedding offers.

QuoteOriginally posted by DanLoc78 Quote
I love the point Wheatfield made about considering whether you want to sacrifice the joy you take from photography by depending on it for income.
Me too. I had to do something to get me out of the rut of stock photography. I hated driving down the road and constantly looking for things that would sell. I was losing the "fun" creativity and replacing it for "how can I re-invent the business handshake photo?" creativity. Well, I never believed the handshake photo could be re-invented as it's been way overdone, so I created a blog this year to showcase my more creative up-and-coming photos. It was created purely to motivate me to shoot for fun and be more creative, even if no one views it.

09-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #20
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Builttospill, your experiences remind me back in the day when I started tying flys for a fly shop here in town. At first it was fun making some extra money (not much) tying and if you really want to learn to tie flies that's the way to do it. But it gradually turned into come home from work, eat dinner, ty flies all night, repeat the next day. Then I would find myself out fishing (rarely, but that's what I really wanted to do) thinking "I'm not getting any flies tied". That was it, something I got into to make a few extra bucks so I could go fishing, turned into an anchor that kept me from going. It also started to curb my creativity tying when all I had to look forward to was getting another 20 dozen Grey Wulff's tied and then get going on Green Drake Wulffs.
I know, for me, with all the money I've dropped on photography equipment the lure is to try to make some money to help with those expenses, but man, a guy has to be careful what he commits to and the consequences of a seemingly good idea:-).
09-25-2009, 07:04 PM   #21
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I find Wheatfield's posts to be genuinely helpful on many levels. He has answered many of the questions I have posed here on the forum.

However, for me when I was starting out, taking a lot of pictures was the way to go. Back in the film days I started out with a Minolta with a busted light meter. I took rolls of shots and had a trusty notebook in which I recorded each and every exposure. Now of course we have the EXIF data to rely on, but back then I only had my notebook. When I got my roll developed I went over each shot and learned where I made mistakes and where I did something right. The more I shot the more I learned and eventually I got to the point where I could get the exposure right and could move onto other things to worry about, such as composition.

If you take a lot of shots in the beginning then you have more to learn from.

Another thing I learned early on is to never show anyone, especially a customer, everything you shot. If you have 4 exposures of one composition choose the best and hide the rest. The same for when you post online. If you look at my flickr site below you would be hard pressed to find a duplication. Each and every shot there is unique.

Of course it's different when showing to another photographer, but for the general public, customers and family only show the best edited shots.

Look at as many pictures as you can. Look around you as much as you can. In the one class I took the instructor told us to go someplace, anyplace, and plant our feet in one spot to shoot a 36 exposure roll of film. The rules were that we could not move our feet once they were planted and that we could not shoot the same thing twice. It really made us think about positioning, composition and detail. At about shot 29 or 30 you start to run out of ideas and have to really stretch yourself. Someone in class got high marks for shoot through their legs at what was behind them and presented those pictures upside down.

Take all the free advice there is, some may be worth twice the price.

Finally, I am a professional because people pay me to take pictures. Not as much as I would like but they do pay me. In fact I have a job this weekend.
09-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #22
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That makes sense, I took a break from stock photography for a while. The nice thing is my images were still selling, I just wasn't "feeding the beast".

Is it fun tying flies for personal use yet?!?

QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
Builttospill, your experiences remind me back in the day when I started tying flys for a fly shop here in town. At first it was fun making some extra money (not much) tying and if you really want to learn to tie flies that's the way to do it. But it gradually turned into come home from work, eat dinner, ty flies all night, repeat the next day. Then I would find myself out fishing (rarely, but that's what I really wanted to do) thinking "I'm not getting any flies tied". That was it, something I got into to make a few extra bucks so I could go fishing, turned into an anchor that kept me from going. It also started to curb my creativity tying when all I had to look forward to was getting another 20 dozen Grey Wulff's tied and then get going on Green Drake Wulffs.
I know, for me, with all the money I've dropped on photography equipment the lure is to try to make some money to help with those expenses, but man, a guy has to be careful what he commits to and the consequences of a seemingly good idea:-).
09-27-2009, 02:35 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
Is it fun tying flies for personal use yet?!?
Oh yes, my bench is always set up and waiting and I tie quite often:-).

09-27-2009, 07:06 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by THAN THE SWORD Quote
I find Wheatfield's posts to be genuinely helpful on many levels. He has answered many of the questions I have posed here on the forum.

However, for me when I was starting out, taking a lot of pictures was the way to go. Back in the film days I started out with a Minolta with a busted light meter. I took rolls of shots and had a trusty notebook in which I recorded each and every exposure. Now of course we have the EXIF data to rely on, but back then I only had my notebook. When I got my roll developed I went over each shot and learned where I made mistakes and where I did something right. The more I shot the more I learned and eventually I got to the point where I could get the exposure right and could move onto other things to worry about, such as composition.

If you take a lot of shots in the beginning then you have more to learn from.

Another thing I learned early on is to never show anyone, especially a customer, everything you shot. If you have 4 exposures of one composition choose the best and hide the rest. The same for when you post online. If you look at my flickr site below you would be hard pressed to find a duplication. Each and every shot there is unique.

Of course it's different when showing to another photographer, but for the general public, customers and family only show the best edited shots.

Look at as many pictures as you can. Look around you as much as you can. In the one class I took the instructor told us to go someplace, anyplace, and plant our feet in one spot to shoot a 36 exposure roll of film. The rules were that we could not move our feet once they were planted and that we could not shoot the same thing twice. It really made us think about positioning, composition and detail. At about shot 29 or 30 you start to run out of ideas and have to really stretch yourself. Someone in class got high marks for shoot through their legs at what was behind them and presented those pictures upside down.

Take all the free advice there is, some may be worth twice the price.

Finally, I am a professional because people pay me to take pictures. Not as much as I would like but they do pay me. In fact I have a job this weekend.
I started out the EXACT same way you did. I could not have said it better myself. Wheatfield speaks from years of experience and he will tell you how it is from his perpective. He does not sugar coat anything; it comes straight from the heart. I also have a job pending as well. Go figure!
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